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FRANCO’S PRIDE AT ARGENTINA CALL-UP

PUBLISHED

15:17 1st November 2012

by Paul Chialton

Striker earns first international call-up alongside world’s greatest players

Franco Di Santo has spoken of his delight at being called up to the Argentina national squad for the first time in his career.

The 23-year-old received the call from national coach Alejandro Sabella earlier this week, ahead of Argentina’s upcoming friendly match against Saudi Arabia on 14 November in Riyadh.

Having represented Argentina at Under-20 level earlier in his career, the call-up marks his first with the senior side, along with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano and of course Lionel Messi.

He said: “It’s incredible, I’m so happy and proud to be selected to represent my country, it’s been a long-time goal of mine to achieve this and I can’t wait to team up with the group for the game against Saudi Arabia.

“There are many world class players right through the squad and of course it is a national team with a great history so to be given the chance to show the national team manager what I can do is a big honour for me and for my family.

“I’ve been playing with a lot of confidence lately and really enjoying my football so I’m delighted Alejandro has seen this and decided to give me a chance, I won’t let him, my country or my club down in doing so.”

Wigan Athletic Manager Roberto Martinez also praised the forward and sees the achievement as a milestone in his ever-developing career, saying:

“Everyone at the Club is extremely proud of his achievement. To be called up alongside names such as Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain in the Argentina forward line is an achievement in itself and I believe he has the potential to play in those positions with those players.

“He arrived at Wigan Athletic as a very young man and it’s been an incredible journey for him becoming a special footballer and a man.

“He’s now achieved something he’s always set his sights on and the next step for him is to achieve continuity within that squad and make sure he can gather as many caps as possible and compete in major tournaments.

“To have a striker in that squad from Wigan Athletic is a compliment to us as a team, but we want Franco to continue his development with this landmark; he’s only 23 remember with his best years ahead and that huge potential is there to be achieved.”

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